How Long Does Tox Last? A Dermatologist Explains

Tox InjectionsHow Long Does Tox Last? A Dermatologist Explains

February 21, 20240

Tox, short for botulinum toxin injections like Botox or Dysport, has become an increasingly popular cosmetic treatment over the last decade. These injections use a purified form of botulinum toxin to temporarily relax muscles and smooth out wrinkles. Though tox is often associated with eliminating frown lines and crow’s feet, it can also lift brows, soften neck bands, minimize gum lines, and more. If you are considering trying tox for the first time or want to maintain your existing results, you probably wonder—how long does it last? Here is a comprehensive overview of what to expect when it comes to the longevity and upkeep of tox treatments.

How Long Until You See Tox Results?

Most patients start to see results from tox injections within two to 10 days after the procedure. However, the full effects are not visible until about two weeks post-treatment. It takes time for the botulinum toxin to diffuse into the muscle and nerve endings. So, be patient and wait the full two weeks before determining if you have achieved your desired outcome. Book your next appointment accordingly, once you see how long the results tend to last for your situation.

When Do Tox Results Peak?

You can expect your tox results to peak around the one-month mark. This is when the muscle-relaxing effects are at maximal capacity after the botulinum toxin has fully diffused. For most common areas treated like the glabellar lines between the brows, lateral canthal lines around the eyes, and horizontal forehead lines, peak relaxation happens between two to six weeks after injections. This offers a nice sweet spot around the one month period to take some fresh headshots or a selfie to document your refreshed, wrinkle-free look.

How Long Do Tox Effects Last?

Brace yourself for some individuated answers here. There are many variables when it comes to the long-lasting effects of tox treatments, including the specific area being treated, the brand of neurotoxin used, the precision and skill of the injector, and the patient’s general health and metabolism. However, you can generally bank on maintaining visible tox improvements for around three to four months post-treatment before starting to notice some wearing off. Stay diligent about booking your follow-up touch-ups.

What Factors Impact Longevity?

There are certain key factors that can impact how quickly or slowly the effects of neuromodulator injections wear off over time. One is the inherent strength of the patient’s facial musculature—those who have very strong or bulky facial muscles may metabolize and break down the tox a little faster. Highly expressive patient lifestyles involving a lot of animated speech or movement can also quicken results breakdown. Regional factors like the area of the face injected play a role too—zones that see habitual facial motion from squinting or frowning tend to demand more frequent touch-ups after 3 months. The precision skill of your injector placing the neurotoxin correctly also influences longevity.

Consider Your Ideal Dosage

The amount of diluted neurotoxin used during injections will depend partly on the treatment areas, your muscle strength, the prescription strength chosen, and your desired level of muscle relaxation. However, experienced injectors stress that less is often more with tox—especially for first-time patients. Reputable providers administer conservative starter doses and have patients return for incremental touch-ups to allow the effects to build gradually while preserving some facial movement. Discuss your goals thoroughly with your injector to agree on an optimal dose tailored for beautiful, natural-looking results.

How Often Do You Need Tox Touch-Ups?

Most cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery providers recommend getting follow-up tox touch-up injections approximately every three to six months on average in order to continually “refresh” and maintain results in any particular facial region. However, your own ideal maintenance timeline depends heavily on the specific factors and treatment goals mentioned above—namely the locations treated, precision technique, toxin brand and dilution, underlying musculature, expressiveness, and your personal preferences. Some devotees prefer visiting for new injections every three months like clockwork because they favor sustaining an extremely smoothed-out, wrinkle-free appearance above all else. Others choose to wait six to eight months or more between appointments in order to restore gradual movement of the facial muscles for a more natural look in between sessions. So, discuss your priorities with your provider.

A Word on Tox “Addiction”

Some very consistent and devoted long-term tox users report starting to feel anxious when they begin perceiving any wearing off of results as the 3-to-4-month mark approaches before their next scheduled touch-up session. The phenomenon even has a name—the so-called “tox treadmill”—implying a never-ending cycle of maintenance visits. However, properly administered neuromodulator injections, even with very consistent long-term use, should not cause any kind of permanent paralysis or frozen quality to the facial musculature—just temporary relaxation and wrinkle reduction. Maintaining a diligent daily skincare regimen with evidence-based anti-aging topicals also goes a long way towards helping slow signs of skin aging and photo-damage in between neurotoxin sessions.

Set Realistic Expectations

Tox injections don’t stop the intrinsic aging process. Managing patient expectations about the degree of rejuvenation possible is important for satisfaction. With discipline about maintenance sessions every 3 to 6 months and diligent skincare, tox enables stunning refinement in wrinkles and lines. However, some static etched-in creases, skin laxity, and pigmentation may warrant combining tox with laser resurfacing or dermal fillers. Talk to your provider about multimodal approaches if your expectations exceed what neurotoxin injections alone can deliver.

For most toxin patients, you can generally expect to start seeing visible improvements in wrinkles, lines and skin tone as early as two weeks post-injection, with maximal results peaking around the one-month mark, and maintenance of enhancements for approximately three to four months thereafter, assuming proper injection precision. Consistency is truly crucial when aiming to maintain your toxin treatment objectives for face rejuvenation over the long haul. Following best practices for injection precision placement, proper neurotoxin dilution and dosage, and setting realistic patient expectations can pave the way for a consistently positive and satisfying, confidence-boosting tox experience.